Monday, December 08, 2008

The Orange Spotlight

Various Writers KSE Last Poems (Kendra Steiner Editions #115, Dec. 2008)

"i take last steps in the direction of where i began" ~ Jack Henry

Although the Midwest winters can be brutally unforgiving I have never been one to find a great deal of sorrow in the chill and frost. I tend to focus on the warmth of the holidays and the glowing eyes of the children that I am consistently surrounded by. Yet, there are always a few universal truths that can never be ignored and tend to loom a little heavier at certain times of the year. One undeniable truth is that at some point life ends. It is the uncontrollable nature of death that attracts so much attention and worry. True, some fixate, some ignore, some laugh straight in the face, but in Last Poems ten poets meditate.

From the near taunt of Ed Churchouse to the affirmation of Glen W. Cooper, Last Poems serves as a guide through death and grief told from various angles. It takes a dark and unpleasant subject and comes to terms with it. The tone is somber, but as you read it feels necessary and relevant especially if you have lost someone.

Last Poems is KSE #115 and it was printed in an edition of 94 copies, and I have copy #9. If you factor in the copies that went out to the ten different contributors, you better order yours today.

Honey Claws Honey Claws (Self-Released, Oct. 14th)

After two tracks of the debut full-length from Austin's Honey Claws I was thinking, "Oh no, another Linkin Park!". However, as I listened on I realized that this group of young and creative musicians is so much more. True they are mixing hip-hop with with rock, but this is a more urgent sound and a less polished and commercial the Linkin Park. Multi-instrumentalists Dr. Zero, Ben Senior, Jon Von Letscher, and Traey Hatch may have not have discovered something new, but their levity make this album compelling.

At its core this is a party album, combining several styles and themes. From indie rock to off-kilter electro to old-school hip-hop, the style and flow is constantly changing and evolving. My favorite track is "Bone Hollow", and the near Q-tip-esque rhymes. Even though the album is only available digitially, I was sent a beautifully designed physical copy with packaging made from certified organic parts. These four young musicians have won me over, and if you give them a chance they may do the same for you.

Listen to: Shout Out (mp3)

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